AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition Quad Core CPU

Conclusion

Conclusion
 
AMD Phenom is a good attempt at making a Quad Core CPU and had it been out before Intel brought out their Quads perhaps we would have seen a high takeup of those CPU's.
 
However, in the current climate, armed with Intel Core 2 Quads that compete in price as well as dominating in performance it's tough for AMD to make a mark. The Phenom Black Edition is a special edition unlocked multiplier CPU, but in all honesty this doesn't make the slightest bit of difference when overclocking so it's almost a moot point. Gone are the days when the FX series offered hardcore overclockers real unlocked overclocking potential.
 
Priced at around £150, the Phenom's are competing with the Q6600 in real monetary terms, not good for AMD.
 
I will say that those of you with AM2 boards need look no further, drop a Phenom into the system and you'll be smiling at the performance increase. However, for those building a new system we can't rightly say "go and buy it" - rather that you should probably look at a Q6600 which seem to do 3.6GHz all day long on low volts.
 
I hope AMD build on the Phenom and tweak and improve and release a non-bugged, improved B3 stepping Phenom that really gives us something to be hopeful about.
 
Of course, I haven't even mentioned Nehalem yet....
 
The Good
+ Excellent upgrade path for socket AM2 users
+ Fantastic bandwidth
 
The Mediocre
* Gaming performance not too bad
* Multi-tasking is responsive
 
The Bad
- Loses out badly to Intel on performance
- Awful overclocking potential
- Needs a price drop
 
 
Thanks to AMD for the review sample
 
Getting Phenom for that AM2 board you've got tucked away? Or simply going Blue? Tell us here
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Most Recent Comments

09-03-2008, 20:38:17

Bungral
Not a chance I'd buy one.

I used to be quite loyal to AMD but that was Athlon XP days.. It came to building a new rig and very nearly bought a X2 6000 but just couldn't ignore the gains I'd get from switching.

Point is until AMD drastically improve they aren't gonna get anyone building a new rig jumping over to them or even sticking with them.

Good review as ever Matt

Oh yeah and I agree it should have been run without the fix if 2 days of testing gave you nothing to actually fix.Quote

09-03-2008, 22:16:58

nepas
nice review mate.

1 slight point though: "socket AM2 users"---shouldnt that be am2+ users

somehow this makes me think that AMD are rushing things so they dont fall too far behind intel.the interesting fact is that the phenom is not far behind the q6600 in the benchies(well at stock,anyway),so maybe amd are heading in the right direction after all,roll on the AMD 8 core(as per your news post the other day)maybe they are not as far behind as we all thought?Quote

10-03-2008, 03:21:50

Hatman
They have the revised ones out soon though and then 45nm ones later this year.

Aslong as they keep on track anyway. A big advantage for AMD would be to release 8core cpus on their AM2+ socket, as for intel you would have to buy a new mobo for nehalem.Quote

10-03-2008, 03:40:08

PV5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Hatman'
They have the revised ones out soon though and then 45nm ones later this year.

Aslong as they keep on track anyway. A big advantage for AMD would be to release 8core cpus on their AM2+ socket, as for intel you would have to buy a new mobo for nehalem.
I don't think the B3 revision will offer anything special performance-wise, but it may allow for a lower TDP (hopefully) and a fix for the TLB issue. In my opinion AMD won't be able to squeeze that much out of the Phenom architecture in the bid to reduce the performance deficit by means of the new revision. Nahalem will mean a socket change because the memory controller will now reside on-die. It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference that makes in memory bandwidth next time around.

Good review Kemp, but unfortunately AMD doesn't have the goods this time to warrant a purchase. Hopefully the new 45nm procs will provide a much closer performing alternative.Quote

10-03-2008, 03:45:28

PV5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Hatman'
They have the revised ones out soon though and then 45nm ones later this year.

Aslong as they keep on track anyway. A big advantage for AMD would be to release 8core cpus on their AM2+ socket, as for intel you would have to buy a new mobo for nehalem.
I don't think the B3 revision will offer anything special performance-wise, but it may allow for a lower TDP (hopefully) and a fix for the TLB issue. AMD won't be able to sqeeze that much performance out of it's current deficit by means of the new revision. Nahalem will mean a socket change because the memory controller will now reside on-die. It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference that makes in memory bandwidth next time around.

Good review Kemp, but unfortunately AMD doesn't have the goods this time to warrant a purchase. Hopefully the new 45nm procs will provide a much closer performing alternative.Quote
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